Understanding ETFE Industrial Coatings
ETFE coatings are sold under a variety of brand names, including Tefzel, Texlon, and Fluon. This type of coating is a thermoplastic copolymer, and one of its best qualities is the fact that it has a chemical inertness that’s similar to fluoropolymers like PTFE, although it also brings mechanical strength, resistance to abrasion, and stiffness along with chemical inertness.
The strength of ETFE is important in many applications, like those where constant physical impact or continual contact with abrasive materials is a concern. In situations like these, an ETFE coating is likely to last much longer than a standard fluoropolymer coating would. ETFE can be used continually from 150 degrees Fahrenheit all the way up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes the material perfect for the chemical processing industry. Here are further details about ETFE:
- DuPont’s website says ETFE is stronger than FEP, PFA, and PTFE.
- ETFE is combustible in the same way as FEP, PFA, and PTFE, which means that like those other plastics, it also releases hydrofluoric acid when it is burned. This is why it is so important that applications not exceed 300 degrees Fahrenheit because hydrofluoric acid is very corrosive.
- An ETFE coating is 1 percent the weight of glass and transmits more light than glass does. It’s also at least 24 percent less expensive to install an ETFE coating than it is a glass one.
- ETFE is highly resilient, even being able to bounce back from 400 times its weight.
- ETFE is also self-cleaning because it has a surface that’s highly non-stick.
- Tears in an ETFE coating can be fixed by patching them or attaching multiple sheets.
- The tensile strength of this material is 42 N / square millimeter, or 6100 psi.
ETFE coatings are commonly used in many applications. They were even used to build the pneumatic panels on the exterior of the Beijing National Aquatics Centre and other buildings. ETFE coatings have been used in buildings all over the world, including the Eden Project and the National Space Centre in the U.K., Hong Kong’s Green 18 in the Hong Kong Science Park, Allianz Arena in Germany, and the Forsyth Barr Stadium in New Zealand. ETFE is also commonly used to cover electrical wiring, especially for wires in spacecraft or aircraft. Sometimes it is used as a dual laminate and bonded to FRP for use in tanks and pipes.
It is critical that you always consult with an expert before you choose any coating for any application. There is virtually an endless variety of coatings to choose from, so you need an expert who understands the subtle differences among all of those coatings. Also make sure that the company you choose to help you with your coating is certified to help you apply it. Major companies like DuPont certify applicators to make sure that they know how to apply the product safely and efficiently. Having a coating supplier who is ISO 9001 certified as well is important.
Let the experts at Toefco teach you more about ETFE coatings and help you figure out if they are right for your application. Toefco is a woman-owned supplier, which makes it possible for companies to meet their minority contracting requirements. They love handling difficult problems, and they know how to engineer coatings precisely to your requirements. The engineers at Toefco appreciate hearing their customers’ success stories, so let them put their expertise to work for you.